Everytime I swear I won't cram another cookbook onto my bookshelf I leaf through something that seems to stand out among the other cookbooks I have, or is complete enough that it allows me to give away several cookbooks so that one can take its place.
This is one such cookbook.
Very extensive cookbook with around 300 recipes, it's divided into the following categories:
Center of the Plate
Savory Skillet Meals
Casseroles and Pot Pies
Meatless Main Dishes
Sandwiches, Salads, and Pizzas
Soups, Stews, and Chilies
Slow Cooker Suppers
Grilling Good and Easy
30 Min or Less
Cooking for Two
Which is why I say it's like having several cookbooks...if I'm in the mood to grill, I can pull this out and do it with fewer calories, if I have limited time, it still has recipes for me, if I don't want leftovers I use the cooking for two section, and I love the slow cooker suppers for those days when I want to throw some things into a pot in the morning and come home to a hot cooked meal, making me feel like my private chef slaved all day to have dinner ready and waiting! :-)
Here are a few examples of some of the recipes. I've found them to include easy-to-locate ingredients and be family pleasers so that the rest of the house doesn't even have to know it's "diet" food since they tend to be good comfort foods. While I personally love the meatless section, you can adapt the other recipes easily for your meatless days as well. Here are some examples of some recipes:
Honey Glazed chicken breasts
Baked Oregano Chicken (this is a great one at only 180 calories)
Smothered Cajun Pork Chops
Beef and Peppers with Biscuits
Philly Steak Casserole
Cheese Filled Tortellini Soup
Black Bean Taco Salad
Baked Chicken and Rice with Autumn Veggies
Country French Beef Stew
Chicken and Dumplings
Creamy Crabmeat Au Gratin
Tex Mex Scrambled Eggs
Tex Mex Meat Loaf
There are also lots of ethnic dishes thrown in if you, for example, are in the mood for Chinese food, Indian food, etc. And the meatless maindishes will make even a hearty carnivore forget what's missing.
This book, unlike most of my diet cookbooks, contains FULL nutritionals, even the protein, sodium etc. If you are following Weight Watchers you'll know the fat and fiber of every dish going in.
The instructions are super simple. I cook all the time but even if you have only made Kraft mac and cheese up til now, you'll not skip a beat.
NEGATIVES: I try to leave negatives on any review even if I love something since nothing is perfect but this book is jam packed with recipes, many with calories even in the one hundreds and they are easy to prepare, healthy, and tasty and have full nutritionals. That's an A+ cookbook for me. I'f I had to say something others might not like, I might say it doesn't contain photos for all recipes (it does have several photos, just not for all) but bear in mind the book is already at almost 400 pages with its tips and recipes so you might not fit it into your cookbook holder if got any bigger. :-)
I love this one. It's both rare and well-done.
p.s. My calorie goal when I am dieting is 1250 calories per day. (This was scientifically figured out for me with a bodybugg. I'm a weight loss coach.) I burn 1950 calories per day usually in just normal activities so this deficit enables me to lose well if I also increase my activity( a little over 2 lbs per week) since a deficit of 3,500 calories equals a loss of one pound. (Your body uses fat stores for energy when it has a deficit.) Your calorie needs will vary of course based upon your height and weight and activity but there are several places online that you can get an estimate of what your body uses in order to figure out the deficit needed for weight loss even without a bodybugg. (All weight loss is, afterall, is taking in less calories than you burn.) This is great if you want to eat fresh food yet measure exactly what you are taking in as well.
But I'm not always on a diet. And to be honest, I use this book even when I am not on a diet. I like the recipes. I just get to eat more!
This keeps me satisfied and it's more of a food change than a diet.